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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Mexico (Western)/Socorro

Nautilus Explorer: "Another Excellent Trip to the Revillagigedos Archipelago", Feb, 2018,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 88 reports with 53 Helpful votes). Report 10167 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Dived the Revillagigedos Archipelago (RA) for the 11th time aboard a Nautilus vessel. This time on the Nautilus Belle Amie (NBA). My son and I were promptly met at SJD by the transportation company and driven the El Ganzo hotel in Cabo del San Jose; After about a 4 hour stay, we boarded the NBA for the 2 night/ 1 day cruise to San Benedicto Island.

The voyage down to RA was spent preparing dive equipment and photo gear plus several briefings.

The first day of diving was at the Canyon and Boiler dives sites. The diving here was a bit above average with encounters with hammerheads, silkies and manta rays.

The next 2 days were spent at Socorro Island. The first day at Cabo Pierce where the diving was quite good with close encounters with several mantas. The next day was spent at Punta Tosca, which usually has pretty good diving. However, this trip, the diving here was quite dissappointing. Virtually no pelagic encounters. Had some nice time with lobsters, convict tangs, various moray eels and sting rays.

The 4th dive was spent at Roca Partida -- again another dive site known for exceptional marine life encounters. But this trip, the action was quite slow. No mantas and just a few sharks other than white-tips. We were entertained by some large schools of jacks.

So the decision was made to return to San Benedicto for the last 2 days of diving. Great Decision!!. Here we encountered 3-6 mantas on every dive. We also had several encounters with whale sharks and bottlenose dolphins. All the divers and crew were quite jazzed.

The NBA is a large live-aboard that comfortably accommodates several divers. There were 28 divers on this trip. The divers are organized into 4 groups with the schedule and DM changing every day. It is well managed. We did 2 AM dives and 2 PM dives.

The boat has a spacious dining area and salon. The top deck has a hot tub and a bar.
The food is quite good and plentiful. The first dive is preceded with a continental breakfast followed by a full, made-to-order breakfast. After the 2nd AM dive, a buffet lunch is served. The first PM dive is followed with snacks and poo-poo's. Dinner is served at 7:30 PM after the 4th dive of the day. The boat has a very well-stocked bar featuring several different offerings of beer, wine and scotch.

The crew is always very friendly and helpful. The DM's emphasizes safety and are very familiar with dive sites. I was pleased that the dive boat congestion did not occur as it did in 2017. On most days we were the only boat on the dive site. It appears that the live-aboard operators and doing a better job of managing in this regard. Hopefully, we won't have a highly regulated dive site situation such as Cocos Island.

The RA has been designated a national park by the Mexican government and , unfortunately, as a result there is no more snorkeling with whales.

Nevertheless, I am booked on the NBA for March, 2019 for my 12th trip to RA.
Websites Nautilus Explorer   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean; Galapagos, Socorro, Fiji, Solomons, GBR, Vanuatu,
PNG, Philippines, Indonesia, Palau, Yap, Kosrae
Closest Airport SJD Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 72-76°F / 22-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No Deco; 60 minute dives; Don't go "Blue"
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The NBA has very spacious camera tables that easily accommodated all the camera rigs on board. The skiff drivers and DM take care loading/unloading camera gear from the pangas.

It would be nice to have an air nozzle at the camera table to blow the excess water off the housings.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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